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The Luxury Hotel Insider:Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance.

Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.


Perched on a bluff overlooking Lake Huron, the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island is steeped in history. Built in 1887, the elegant property is located between the upper and lower peninsula of Michigan on the car-free Mackinac Island. Providing guests the opportunity to step back in time with horse drawn carriage rides, the 390-room hotel offers more than three dozen themed suites, which offer unique accommodations and one-of-a-kind style including the Lincoln Suite and the Hollywood Suite. Read more below the photo of the hotel.

Exterior view of the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island

For an ultra-luxe stay, six of the hotel's themed suites are Two-Bedroom Suites with Parlors. These accommodations include the Presidential Suite, which features an elegant setting with antiques, photos, and paintings of U.S. Presidents, and an elegant parlor with a regal emerald green color palette. There's also the Cupola Suites which debuted in 2015 when the property began restoring the hotel's original dormers from the late 1800s. Work is currently ongoing, and new Cupola Suites will be added in the 2017/18 offseason. Continue reading below the photo of one of the hotel's suites.

Suite at the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island

In addition to the suites, the hotel's Masco Cottage is a four-bedroom private residence with an exclusive entrance. Guests staying within the cottage can arrange private dinners prepared by a personal chef, relax in an outdoor hot tub, play games on the Wii gaming system, and experience cocktails and hors d'oeuvres within the privacy of the summer cottage. They also receive discounts on ferry boat tickets and charter air services. 

The historic, award-winning property has been family-owned for three generations, and is a National Historic Landmark. Celebrating it's 130th Anniversary Season in 2017, the Grand Hotel offers old world elegance with afternoon tea in the parlor, dressing up for dinner (the hotel has a dress code), and nightly dancing to the sounds of the Grand Hotel Orchestra. For those seeking relaxation, the hotel offers the world's longest porch with rocking chairs and panoramic views of the Straits of Mackinac. Read more below the porch photo.

The front porch of the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island

Check rates and availability at the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island


Pet-friendly Hotels

What's a family vacation without the family pet? In honor of National Pet Day, we've pulled together five of the top pet-friendly hotels in the U.S.A. 

1. Hutton Hotel Nashville

Hutton Hotel Nashville

Close to downtown and Vanderbilt University, the Hutton Hotel Nashville offers specially designed pet floors, along with exclusive pet amenities. The Hotel's Happy Tails Pet Program greets furry friends with Hutton Bubba Rose welcome treats, pet bandanas, welcome toys, custom Hutton placemats, bowls, and leashes to use during the stay, bedding, and a special pet-friendly room service menu. 

Check rates at the Hutton Hotel Nashville

2. The Cottages at the Boat Basin

The Cottages at the Boat Basin

Providing a waterfront setting, The Cottages at the Nantucket Boat Basin offers special Woof Cottages along with Bailey, the Pet Concierge. When guests with furry friends check in, Bailey the Black Lab/Britney Spaniel mix is there to greet visitors and show four-legged guests to The Woof Cottages, which are equipped with pet beds, personalized pet tags, food and water bowls, plus a welcome bag of treats. There's also doggie turndown and walking services available. 

Learn more about The Cottages at the Boat Basin

3. Virgin Hotel Chicago

Virgin Hotel Chicago

Offering pet-friendly chambers with porcelain watchdogs outside the doors, Virgin Hotel Chicago provides an array of in-room amenities including dog beds, food and water dishes, plus treats and Virgin Hotels bandanas. Two blocks from the Chicago Riverwalk, the hotel is located within a historic building in Chicago's Loop neighborhood. 

Check rates and availability at Virgin Hotel Chicago

4. Hotel Monaco Portland

Dakota the Director of Pet Relations, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland

Situated within a historic 1912 building designed in Anglo-Chinois style, the Hotel Monaco Portland is a pet-friendly hotel with no size, weight, or breed restrictions. Dakota, the Director of Pet Relations greets all guests at the door, pets are welcome at the nightly wine reception, and in-room amenities include loaner pet beds, water and food bowls, plus courtesy bags for walking the dog. Don't have a pet to bring along? Guests can request companion goldfish to enjoy for the duration of their stay. 

Learn more about Hotel Monaco Portland

5. Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC

Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC

Voted the nation's "Pet Friendliest Destination" by Animal Fair magazine, the Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC welcomes pets with Lord Jameson treats at turndown, monogrammed mats with pet's names on it, food and water bowls, Fiji water, toys, and collar tags that read "I am staying at Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC." There's additional enhancements available, including name tags, puppy purses, and personalized pet beds. 

Check rates at Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC


Set within a historic building on the Magnificent Mile, The Gwen Chicago is currently undergoing an extensive renovation. Scheduled to be completed in April 2017, the property's guest rooms will be completely redesigned with a 1930s-inspired style. The hotel offers a rooftop terrace, Circa Restaurant and Lounge, along with Prohibition Porter Mixology Services, and in-room spa treatments. Read more about the renovation of the property (below the photo) from our sister publication, Hotel Management, by Mick Tan
The recently renovated lobby of the Gwen Chicago
The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Chicago, has started its guestroom renovation. The inspiration for the new design comes from the hotel’s namesake, Chicago sculptor Gwen Lux, as well as 1930s-era glamor. Housed in the former McGraw-Hill building, The Gwen is in downtown Chicago, overlooking Michigan Avenue on Rush Street.

The newest member of Marriott’s The Luxury Collection, The Gwen opened in September 2015 and unveiled its newly remodeled lobby, rooftop terrace, lounge and restaurant in May 2016. The guestroom renovation is scheduled to conclude in April, and each of the hotel’s 311 rooms and suites will have the new layout and designs.

The Gwen’s new guestrooms were conceptualized and designed by Simeone Deary Design Group. Upon completion of the renovation, guestrooms at The Gwen will have Art Deco touches from the 1930s as well as jewel-toned accent elements and new upholstery.

Chicago-born Gwen Lux designed the bas-relief sculptures depicting the zodiac that are featured on the exterior of the building. These now serve as inspiration for each room’s iteration of her works above the bed. Other elements in the rooms will include backlit mirrors, artistic sketching wallpaper, peach leather pops of color, mossy green velvets, marble and brass pieces, and weathered river tones.
Chicago-based Simeone Deary Design Group was established in 2002 by Lisa Simeone and Gina Deary.
 
Learn more about The Gwen Chicago

Chicago has a history of great architecture, iconic foods, and storied sports teams. For more than 100 years, fans have walked through the gates of Wrigley Field to watch nine innings of baseball, with the hope that "this year" would be the year the Cubs would win the World Series. The beloved team had not won the championship since 1908, but that all changed last night when the Chicago Cubs won game 7 of the World Series in extra innings. Today, we are celebrating #TravelBackThursday by featuring three of our favorite hotels that have been part of the Chicago skyline since the last time the Cubs won the World Series in 1908.

1. The Burnham Chicago
The Burnham Chicago
Set within the Reliance Building - a National Historic Landmark, the boutique Kimpton Hotel combines vintage details such as marble staircases, ornate wrought iron, and mosaic tile floors with modern amenities. Designed by architectural firm, Burnham and Root, and completed in 1895 by Charles B. Atwood, it was the first skyscraper to have large plate glass windows make up much of its exterior, and the property was used as an office building for decades. Transformed to a boutique hotel in 1999, it is steps away from Millenium Park, State Street shops, and the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Learn more about The Burnham Chicago 

2. The Silversmith Hotel and Suites
The Silversmith Hotel and Suites
Originally constructed by Architect Peter J. Weber, of D.H. Burnham and Company in 1897, the building was designed to house jewelers and silver craftsman. Reflecting the transition from the Romanesque Revival era to the Arts and Crafts Movement, the architectural gem was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Today, the building is a luxury boutique hotel blending historic elements with contemporary design, such as 12-foot ceilings, tufted headboards, and sleek furniture. One block from Michigan Avenue, the hotel is close to shopping, restaurants, and museums.

Learn more about The Silversmith Hotel and Suites

3. Renaissance Blackstone Chicago
Lobby of the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel
As the city was celebrating the Cubs winning of the World Series in 1908, the construction of this landmark hotel had just begun. Overlooking the lake, the 23-story Beaux Arts building has hosted its share of celebrities and notorious events, since opening in 1910. The Suite of Presidents hosted Harry Truman in 1944, where he held a private phone conversation with his wife as he pondered the idea of accepting the VP nomination, and President Kennedy finished a bowl of clam chowder within the suite in 1962 before rushing back to DC for Cuban missile crisis negotiations. Declared a historic landmark in 1998, the luxury hotel underwent an extensive renovation in 2008, and offers an extensive art collection, upscale accommodations, and fine Spanish cuisine at Mercat a la Planxa. 

Learn more about Renaissance Blackstone Chicago 

There's a new adaptive reuse hotel in Chicago. Kimpton's latest property, The Gray, is located along La Salle Street, 5 blocks from Millenium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. Guest rooms offer sophisticated styling in a color palette of mostly gray and white. Baleo, the rooftop bar is a South American-inspired retreat on the 15th floor of the hotel, serving Argentinian and Peruvian street food. Steadfast is a chef-driven, ultra-seasonal restaurant with a zinc bar, stately dark wood chairs, plush banquets, and gold accents. For cocktails, Vol. 39 offers an opulent setting with gilded silver carts with caviar and charcuterie, and leather-bound legal books left behind from the previous tenants of the office building before it was transformed into the new hotel. Read more about the new property (below the photo) from our sister publication, Hotel Management, by Mick Tan

Guest room at The Gray

Revamped New York Life Insurance Building opens as The Gray

Kimpton opened its latest property, The Gray, in Chicago’s former New York Life Insurance Building that was originally designed by William Le Baron Jenney, and is located on Monroe Street.

Involved in the historic revamp was Los Angeles-based studio Beleco, which worked with Kimpton’s global senior vice president of design and creative director Ave Bradley for the decor and interiors. Meanwhile, Gensler led the overall design duties for the building’s renovation.

Each of the 293 guestrooms now have blue accent colors inspired by the city’s flag; locally sourced artwork; and custom materials such as bathroom wall art reading “Relax, It’s Just Garlic”, a nod to Chicago’s namesake native garlic chicagoua plant. Continue reading below the photo.

Bathroom in Kimpton The Gray Hotel

For events, the property has almost 13,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

For dining, The Gray has two onsite dining options. Located on the hotel’s 15th floor, South American venue Boleo has a restaurant, bar, and 4,000-square-foot rooftop under an open-air, retractable glass roof. Meanwhile, the ground-floor eatery Steadfast has a woodfire rotisserie, shaved ice crudo bar and charcuterie room.

The lobby also has a bar, Vol. 39, which has a vintage encyclopedia collection discovered inside the property during renovations.
Petrosino’s Parlor salon is located on the second floor.

Interested in adaptive reuse properties?

Check out our Best Historic Buildings Turned Hotels List >>

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Experience Chicago from the heart of the city at Loews Chicago Hotel. The hotel has spectacular city skyline and lake views from the 400 guestrooms (including 25 suites) and meeting spaces both indoors and out. In a city known for its iconic architecture, Loews Chicago offers a distinctive look and feel from the lobby all the way up to the 400 guestrooms and suites

Loews Chicago Hotel

Book a stay at Loews Chicago Hotel >> 


The Peninsula Chicago
There's no better place to discover Chicago than The Peninsula Chicago. The luxury hotel is located in the center of downtown Chicago on the Magnificent Mile. It is just steps from the Windy City's best shopping, dining, and activities, and a few blocks from the business and financial district. 

Here's just a few ways The Peninsula Chicago Gives Guests the City:

-Suite Rides in the MINI Cooper or BMW house car. Guests will be chaffeured through the city in one of the hotel's two bespoke MINI Cooper S Clubman vehicles. MINI Coopers are subject to availability, for a maximum of three hours per stay. A bespoke BMW house car, available on a first-come, first-served basis, chauffeurs guests within two miles of the hotel. 

-Second City:Next Big Comedy Star. Guests who have dreamed of a career in stand-up will be thrilled with a private Second City IThe Peninsula Chicagomprov or Stand Up Comedy Class, a behind-the-scenes tour of the theater and more.

-Eastern Eats:Cooking Class and Tea Ceremony at Shanghai Terrace. Once guests complete this program, they can satisfy their need for Cantonese dim sum whenever they'd like. Tutored by Ivan Yuen, Chef de Cuisine of Shanghai Terrace, guests will spend time in the restaurant's kitchen learning techniques in dim sum making, ingredient selection, menu planning, and plate presentations. A Chinese Tea Ceremony experience, a four-course dinner in Shanghai Terrace, and a photo book of the experience is also included.

-Florist for a Day. Guests will assist in designing and planning the weekly floral displays that are a signature of the Peninsula Hotels experience. A personalised tour of the floral warehouse, and time with the design team as they take it from planning to execution. Champagne, tea sandwiches, a monogrammed apron and floral shee.rs, plus a take home arrangement you helped create is all included.

-Broadway In Chicago:Exceptional Seats to Preferred Performances. Receive VIP access to premier seats for coveted performances. The journey begins with a delicious three-course, pre-theatre dinner in The Lobby or Shanghai Terrace. After dinner, the hotel's bespoke BMW house car whisks guests away to the performance where a personal escort is on hand to show the way to premier house seats and serve  welcome drinks. During the intermission, the VIP service continues as the personal attendant delivers additional refreshments and drinks. Upon conclusion of the show, receive signed merchandise from the cast as a prized keepsake of the experience and a transfer back to the hotel.

For more ways to experience Chicago, book a stay at The Peninsula Chicago>>


Loews Chicago Hotel has spectacular city skyline and lake views from the 400 guestrooms (including 25 suites) and meeting spaces both indoors and out. 

Loews Chicago Hotel

Book a stay at Loews Chicago Hotel >>


The Brewhouse Inn and Suites is part of Milwaukee's visionary, LEED certified, Platinum rated sustainable neighborhood, The Brewery. The hotel was home to the Pabst brewhouse for more than 150 years. Now it's an all-suite hotel with generous amenities and thoughtful, first-class accommodations. It is the perfect location for memorable one night as well as extended stays. From the more than 300 beautifully arched windows throughout to the exposed, original cream city brick, to the original exposed timbers and the historic Carnegie Steel beams, the curved staircase with forged iron barley inlays to the original Pabst copper brew kettles, the property is a feast for the eyes and an architectural marvel.

The Brewhouse Inn and Suites

Book a stay at The Brewhouse Inn and Suites >>


Trump International Hotel Chicago
Explore the Windy City in springtime with these special offers at Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago. The hotel's perfect location overlooks the Chicago River and the city's Magnificent Mile, and is within walking distance to shopping on Michigan Avenue. For guests, the interiors are contemporary-styled accommodations starting with 600 square feet of living space with 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows with unobstructed lake, river or city views.

Stay Longer
Stay two nights and receive up to 10% off.

Stay three or more nights and receive up to 25% off. 

Trump International Chicago

Rise and Dine
Reserve a Rise and Dine offer and receive:
One night stay in deluxe accommodations
$60 daily breakfast credit per booking, to be used in-room or at the Two Star, Michelin-rated restaurant, Sixteen.

City Breaks
Reserve a City Breaks vacation package and receive:
One night stay in a Deluxe King guestroom
$50 food & beverage credit
Valet parking for one vehicle

All rates are based on double occupancy and extra person charges may apply. Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.

Book a stay at Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago >>

Posted in: Chicago, IL

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